This was a spur of the moment baking idea to use up a few ripe pears which didn't have much flavour. I didn't want a heavy gingerbread type of cake as it seemed too heavy for the exceptionally hot weather we're having at the moment, so I just added a little powdered ginger and some stem ginger (plus some syrup from the jar) to an all-in-one sponge cake mixture. I also drizzled some Dulce de Leche over the pears before baking to improve their flavour. This wasn't visible after baking, so just added to the sweetness rather than giving a visual effect. Because of the caramel, I reduced the sugar in the sponge mix slightly.
This was a moist but still quite light cake, with just the right amount of gingery tang and juicy pieces of pear. Some of the pears were still visible on the surface and some of the larger pieces sank, which was OK, as it gave a more random distribution. It made a great dessert with cream or yogurt.
I apologise for the poor photograph - by the time I realised I hadn't taken a good one, there was nothing left to photograph!
4 small ripe pears, peeled, cored, divided into 6 pieces and held in acidulated water while the batter is mixed.
Pre-heat oven to 170C, prepare a 8" diameter round springform tin. (I line the base and grease the sides)
Place all the batter ingredients (except the Dulce de Leche) into a bowl and beat with an electric mixer until the batter is smooth. Transfer to the springform tin and level with a spoon.
Drain the pear slices and lay on kitchen paper to dry a little, then arrange neatly on top of the batter.
Drizzle the Dulce de Leche over the pears (I put it into a freezer bag, then cut off the tip to make a piping bag)
Bake for about 50 - 60 minutes until a test probe is clean. Cool in tin.